Aditya Chola II

Adithya Karikalan or Aditya II was a Chola prince who lived in the 10th century in India.[1] He was born in Tirukoilur and was the eldest son of Sundara Chola. He was the elder brother of Rajaraja Chola I and Kundavai. He was called as Virapandiyan Thalai Konda Koparakesari Varman Karikalan.[2]

Aditya Karikalan (Aditya II)
Reign966 - 971 CE (co-regent)
SiblingsRajaraja I
PredecessorParantaka Chola II
SuccessorUttama Chola
Died971 CE
IssueKarikala Kannan
FatherParantaka Chola II

He led the Chola expedition against the Pandyas and defeated the Pandya king Veerapandyan at the battle of Chevur. He killed Veerapandiyan after chasing him on the banks of Vaigai river. Aditya was made the co-regent and heir apparent to the Chola throne even though Uttama Chola, the son of Gandaraditya Chola, had more right to throne. He was planned and murdered by the associates of Veerapandiyan in revenge for the defeat. Aditya was succeeded by Uttama Chola.[3] As per epigraphs, the inquiry into the death was completed in the second year of Rajaraja Chola I's reign and the lands of certain officials were confiscated for their complicity in the murder of "Karikala Chola who took the head of the Pandya".[4][5]

According to archaeologist Kudavayil Balasubramanian, "Dr K T Tirunavukkarasu in his collection of historical essays titled "Arunmozhi Aiyvu Thogudi", comprehensively ruled out Madurantaka Uttama's role in Aditya Karikala's murder. In the said article, basing his view on a number of historical data points, Dr Tirunavukkarasu has gone on to explain that there was a delay in apprehending the perpetrators immediately thereafter and it was only during Raja Raja I's second regnal year that the culprits were brought to book and given that the assassins were Brahmins" .[6] Suspicions were pointed to Uttama Chola but confiscations of land belonging to culprits started before Raja Raja's period suggesting that Uttama Chola did not spare the plotters. Among the punished were Ravidasan, Soman and Parameshwaran who were all government officials and brothers born to a brahmin family.[7][8][9] They avenged for the decapitation of Veerapandyan by Aditha Karikalan. According to Kudavayil Balasubramanian, claims that Raja Raja would have spared the plotters if they were Brahmins sound absurd because Cholas would not show lenience on account of anyone's caste. [10]

Books on Aditya KarikalanEdit

The conspiracy surrounding his death is dealt with in the popular Tamil novel Ponniyin Selvan written by Kalki and very clearly and elaborately described in the Tamil novel Udayar written by Balakumaran.


  1. ^ A Topographical List of Inscriptions in the Tamil Nadu and Kerala states: Thanjavur district By T. Mahalingam
  2. ^ Nilakanta Sastri, K.A. (1955). A History of South India, OUP, New Delhi (Reprinted 2002)
  3. ^ Nilakanta Sastri, K.A. (1935). The ChōĻas, University of Madras, Madras (Reprinted 1984)
  4. ^ Epigraphia Indica, Volume 21, page 167
  5. ^ S. R. Balasubrahmanyam. Early Chola Temples: Parantaka I to Rajaraja I, A.D. 907-985. Orient Longman, 1971. p. 76.
  6. ^ "Udayarkudi Inscription – An In-depth Assessment ( Translated article)". Archived from the original on 12 June 2020. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  7. ^ South Indian History Congress (1999). Proceedings of the Annual Conference, Volume 18. p. 157.
  8. ^ Annals of Oriental Research, Volume 25. 1975. p. 600.
  9. ^ Early Indian Land Grants and State Economy. 1988. p. 175.
  10. ^ "Who killed Aditya Karikalan?". The Hindu. 15 April 2010.